Ever wonder why the milk tea at boba shops tastes different from the iced tea lattes you get everywhere else? One reason is that it tends to be much sweeter, due to the condensed milk, which contains nearly 50% sugar. While the McDonald’s milk tea hack instead calls for a coffee creamer made with light cream and milk, the tea itself provides plenty of sweetness thanks to the high amount of added sugar. Combined with the coffee creamer, it results in a sweetness comparable to milk tea.
A much more notable similarity between boba shop milk tea and McDonald’s milk tea is actually the tea blend that’s used. Hong Kong-style milk tea — one of the most common types of milk tea — gets its signature flavor from a combination of orange pekoe tea (usually Ceylon brand) and regular black tea. Most people know that McDonald’s sweet tea is made with black tea, however according to the ingredients list shared on the McDonald’s website, it also contains orange pekoe, just like Hong Kong style milk tea.